The University of Massachusetts Amherst


At Juniper, young writers of diverse backgrounds, life experiences, and writing styles come together to find inspiration and to be a part of a community of creative peers. Over the course of five days, participants will engage with their instructors and peers in the pursuit of wild invention.

Due to COVID-19 and our ongoing commitment to community health and safety, we will continue to offer our usual programming in a virtual format. We've redesigned our online curriculum as synchronous, dynamic, and participatory online learning, sharing, and community building.  

Upcoming Programming:

The Juniper Young Writers Online (JYWO) winter workshops: December 28-31, 2020 (applications open October 16, 2020)

The Juniper Young Writers Online (JYWO) full program & writing packages: July 26-30, 2021 (applications open February 15, 2021)

How to Apply for the Winter Workshops:


The Juniper Young Writers Online program welcomes young writers in grades 8-12.

Juniper seeks creative students who are dedicated to exploring the writing process and developing their skills in a collaborative environment. We encourage writers from diverse backgrounds, life experiences, and writing styles to apply.

The deadline for applications has been extended to November 30, 2020

Application Process:

Applications are accepted online, and admission is on a rolling basis until the program is full.

Application materials include:

  • Writing Sample: The strength and promise of the writing sample is the most important aspect of your application. The writing sample should be 3 pages of fiction (double-spaced) or poetry (one poem per page). Samples should be saved in one document (doc, docx, pdf, rtf, or txt). Please include your name & email address as a header or footer in the writing sample.

  • Writer's Statement: This statement of no more than 100 words should describe your interest in participating in a writing lab. Please explain why this would be a meaningful opportunity for you and what you think you can contribute to the lab. Tell us what you write and why you write it! 

  • Scholarship Essay: To apply for a scholarship, please include a brief essay (~300 words) that details your creative writing goals and how attending Juniper would help you to achieve those goals. 

  • Teacher* Recommendation: During the online application process, you will be asked to enter the email address and name of a teacher *(or: educational consultant, professional tutor, or guidance counselor) who has agreed to provide a recommendation on your behalf. Once you submit your application, the recommender will receive an email with instructions for how to fill out a brief recommendation form. Please let them know that their recommendation must be received for your application to be complete. Be sure to obtain permission from your recommender before submitting their contact information in your application!

Cost and Enrollment:

The cost of the winter workshops program is $700* and includes all program activities (writing labs, writer's life sessions, write-alongs, write-ins and participant readings.) *writers who submit their applications by October 31, 2020 are eligible for earlybird rate of $600


We have a limited number of full scholarships available for the winter workshops. BIPOC and underrepresented young writers are especially encouraged to apply for the available funding. In order to apply for a scholarship, upload your scholarship essay in your application.